If you love music and dance, you’ll love the Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular.
The Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular (YPCS) lives up to its name in this, its eighth year. The 2014 edition of the music and dance extravaganza features Christmas music and montages celebrating the music of Dolly Parton, Elton John, West Side Story, the BeeGees, CCR, and from the movie, The Grinch, along with charming readings, a fun audience sing-along and a Christmas quiz. It’s a formula for a wonderful afternoon or evening of live entertainment, and during a sold-out matinee show on Dec. 6, it had the very-appreciative audience clapping and singing along for the entire two-hour show.
Each year when the production comes to the Cedar Community Hall, the hall becomes a magical winter wonderland, filled with wreaths, Christmas trees and sparkling lights and decorations. From the moment you walk in, you’re transported to a land of sparkles, smiles, laughter and magic. There’s even a Christmas sale, and you can purchase hot apple cider and mincemeat tarts to complete the Christmas experience.
The singers, dancers and musicians featured in the Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular are all fantastic. There is so much talent up on that stage. This year’s cast features Eva Tavares, a soprano singer who recently completed her Bachelor of Music at UBC Opera; Cate Richardson, an alto singer from Nanaimo who is performing in the YPCS for the second year; Evan Gow, a tenor who recently graduated from Studio 58 in Vancouver; and Alexander Nicoll, a baritone who grew up in Courtenay. All four have incredible voices and great stage presence. Dancers Claire Wardle, Sierra Brewerton, Chelsea Preston, Jaimie Ashworth and Emma Stewart are all great performers who can not only dance, but also really convey the feel of the song they are dancing to. The music is provided by a live band, which stays on stage the entire time to tie the whole show together. The band features violinist James Mark (who is also the musical director and arranger), bassist David Baird, saxophone and guitar player Steve Jones, keyboard player Barry Miller and drummer Michael Wright.
The YPCS follows a similar formula each year, but the tributes change each time, and there are always new things to appreciate. For me, highlights this year were the Dolly Parton and Elton John montages and the cute “Twelve Days to Christmas” snippets. But it’s pretty hard to choose favorurites when everything really is so great.
The YPCS is produced and directed by Katy Bowen-Roberts, who grew up in Ladysmith and now lives in Comox. It’s always a nice moment when she comes out to address the crowd, thank the sponsors and sing, and this year, her rendition of Etta James’ “At Last” is just beautiful.
If you haven’t yet made the YPCS part of your holiday tradition, this would be great year to do it. The show runs until Dec. 21, with performances at the Cedar Community Hall until Dec. 14. There are also shows at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay and the Port Theatre in Nanaimo. Tickets are on sale through the Port Theatre Box Office at 250-754-8550.
For more information, visit www.yellowpointchristmasspectacular.ca.